After a very interesting incident in the airport of Paris, (you can read about it in HERE) we finally arrived at Barcelona. The sad thing was our Couchsurfing host had canceled our stay at his place just a few hours ago. So there we were at Barcelona airport at 9 pm, with no place to stay. I posted a last-minute public request on Couchsurfing web page, but nobody replied. I tried to book a hostel, but wifi in the airport was available only for one hour for each device. When I finally find something that wasn't crazy expensive, the wifi turned off. I was so pi**ed off! When we connected again with another phone, the deal was already taken. Eventually, we decided to spend the night in the airport. We didn't want to spend more than 50EUR just for one night, especially because we had a place where to stay for the rest of the time of our trip. After low quality sleep on the benches and Spanish cleaning ladies loud phone conversation noise, we woke up around 6 am. Airport was full of people and first flights were calling them on board. We waited until the more decent hour, and around 8 we finally left the airport.
The first thing I noticed were palm trees, warm air, and hills in the background.
I was in love. After crowded and urban Paris this was what I needed. We arrived at the city center and got our breakfast in a very nice cafe.
We got on the La Rambla street which is a famous walking street with many cafes, shops, souvenir stands and many other attractions.
The weather was a little bit hazy, but that doesn't stop us from walking around. So we walked to the port and then headed to the beach.
There we noticed an interesting monument which looked like a weird house. These blocks, tower thing and leaning cubes on Barceloneta beach, are actually an artwork called L'Estel Ferit (the wounded star or the injured comet) and was commissioned for the 1992 Olympics.
So we sat down at the base of the monument and watched the beach. We were very tired and sleepy, but we knew that we can check in our place after 1 pm. So we had to spend this time somewhere. In our time in the beach, we were witnesses of some kind of march. There were many white wearing people singing.
Our plan was to grab some food and go to our Airbnb place. It was close to Montjuic. So we took a metro. It is not very common and widely spread, but one of the metro lines went to the city side we needed. Our Italian friend was already there, and in the evening my friend Anita supposed to join us.
We took a shower and passed out immediately when our heads touched the pillow. After a very-needed nap, we felt like a whole new people. I and Aldis went for some kebabs close to our place. It was already dark, so we decided to stay close to home. Evening was very warm and we decided to take a walk.
In the next morning, the exploration could start. So all four of us took a metro to La Sagrada Familia. It is Family Church which is one of the famous symbols of Barcelona. It is still being built. In 1882, construction of Sagrada Família started under architect Francisco Paula de Villar. After one year, when Villar resigned, Gaudí took over as chief architect, transforming the project with his architectural and engineering style, combining many art forms.Gaudí devoted the remainder of his life to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. It is interesting that the construction relying solely on private donations. But that also means that progress is slow.
This church is even more mighty than in pictures. I stand there for a long time just to pay attention the details. I would call this psychedelic, because of the imagination what is used to create so many details. Lines were crazy, so we didn't go in, but left it to another time.
Next on our list was Park Guell. It is a public park system composed of gardens and architectonic elements located on Carmel Hill. This park is another Gaudi masterpiece and also a symbol of the city. The outside escalator carried us up the steep streets.
You can see pretty far from the top of the Carmel Hill.
We enjoyed Gaudi artistic buildings and decorations from far because again, to get in that part of the park you have to stand in the line and pay. What we decided not to do because it was nice also from a distance.
After that we went for tapas which is an appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine. It may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot. We also tried some sangria. It is a punch like drink, traditionally consists of red wine and chopped fruit, often with other ingredients such as orange juice or brandy.
Next stop was Gaudi museum. Judging book by its cover or just by looking at Gaudi projected buildings you can see endless imagination and hard work. Because of the long lines and lacking of time we decided to skip the museum. We enjoyed architecture instead. But I will definitely go check it out next time I will be in Barcelona.
That evening we had planned a nice dinner because Roberto had a birthday. We decided to go to Restaurant "Barceloneta". From outside it looked like a ship, and also the interior was made accordingly. There were fishing nets on the walls, barrels in the corners of the entrance. The very cute atmosphere.
This is not a cheap place, but I really recommend to go there and try paella. It's a rice dish which can be served with seafood, chicken or vegetables. We tried the chicken and seafood version. One of the most important ingredients in paella is saffron. That is an expensive spice, so paella isn't the cheapest food. But it is very delicious.
Next day I and Aldis decided to go up the hill and see Castell de Montjuïc. It was very close to our apartment, but we decided to go up with a cable car. It was a nice experience.
We walked around the castle and the views were wonderful. We saw the port. Also, we felt happy because the sun was finally out of clouds.
The next day we went to the seaside again. Aldis really wanted to take a swim. The weather was perfect for it. In the meantime, I was enjoying sitting in the rocky sand and breathing in the view. I felt peace in my mind.
After a nice walk through the city we finished the day with some tapas and paella.
I really enjoyed Barcelona. The city is vibrant, full of Gaudi masterpieces, food is delicious and sea is very close. What else would I need? I will definitely return to see even more next time. With a few days isn't enough to explore all of this magical city.